Thursday, February 21, 2008

Peeps / Parasite Positives - Scott Westerfeld

Genre :
Young Adults - Fantasy

American publisher :
Razorbill : 8,99$

English publisher :
ATOM : 5,99£

Synopsis :
Cal is a particular young man, he carries a parasite that makes people like eating flesh and hate light, in a word vampires. Vampirism is in fact a parasite, transmitted to humans by rats, and from human to human by sex and saliva. It is a STI. Cal has not developped the disease, and he works for the Night Watch. He tracks infected people who hide in dark places. He's tracking his latest girlfriend, he infected her without knowing it. But he's also looking for the girl who infected him first, and he's going from discovery to discovery, taking Lacey on the way, a young girl he met during his investigation. He'll discover that this disease is not that bad after all, it can help save humanity from an even more fearsome ennemy.

An extract :

" Okay, let's clear up some myths about vampires. First of all, you won't see me using the V-word much. In the Night Watch, we prefer the term
parasite positives, or peeps for short. The main thing to remember is that there's no magic involved. No flying. No transformation into bats or rats either. We're talking about a disease."

What I think :
The approach of the subject is very interesting, very modern. Vampirism is in fact a disease, a STI more precisely, and everything can be explained with science. When you're infected, the parasite takes control of your body and begins by make you hate all that you once loved, hence the distance, and the dark places...A way to fight a vampire is to present them something they used to love : an anathema. In ancient centuries we used crucifix, because most people were religious, and very attached to this symbol.
I think this way of presenting the myth very innovating, and after all why not? Moreover, the story is really well-written. Peeps could have been one of those books that I love apart from the pause between the chapters of the story where we are introduced to all kinds of parasites inhabiting the world we live in. You know the one which lives in a pool waiting for you to come and drink the water, so that he can make a little place in you body, or the one which lays its eggs in the wound of a cow... Well, I can't stand to think about all those little invisible beasts that live beside us. I know they're here, but I don't want to think about them. You know, for me, movies that talk about disease, kind of ebola fever, plague..., are real horror to me, and make me have nightmares. Give me a few monsters, and I will laugh, but diseases, I clutch the seat. The Plague by Camus is one of the worst horror books I've read. All this just to say that you shouldn't read this book, you could have terrible compulsive disorders;o) And for those of you don't really care, just go for it!!!

Note :
I just want to say something about the french translation. I read the english version, but the book is called V-Virus in French, and the title is all wrong, it should be called P-Parasite, don't you think? But that's the problem with translation, they're often disappointing...

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